VC roundup: Holiday lull doesn’t slow crypto funding as Sentient scores $85m, Lombard raises $16m

The past week saw relatively low crypto funding activity, primarily due to the July Fourth holiday in the U.S.

Despite the holiday lull, several notable funding activities showcased the ever-growing interest in the potential of web3 innovations.

Sentient, $85 million

Sentient, an artificial intelligence (AI) research organization, collected an impressive $85 million in seed funding. 

Founders Fund, Pantera Capital, and Framework Ventures led the effort, with participation from an extensive list of investors, including Ethereal Ventures, Robot Ventures, and Delphi Ventures. 

Sentient seeks to foster an open AGI economy for AI developers by creating platforms and protocols that enable open-source AI innovation. 

This funding round highlights the increasing demand for decentralized AI solutions that promote collaboration and monetization for developers.

Lombard, $16 million

Lombard, a startup dedicated to integrating Bitcoin (BTC) into the decentralized finance (defi) space, successfully raised $16 million in its seed round.

Led by Polychain Capital, the round also saw investments from BabylonChain, dao5, Franklin Templeton, and several others. 

Lombard’s flagship product, LBTC, offers a liquid and yield-bearing representation of Bitcoin, allowing users to participate in defi activities like lending and trading while holding Bitcoin. 

This innovation aims to unlock Bitcoin’s liquidity and inject it into the decentralized finance ecosystem, potentially driving growth in both sectors.

OpenLedger, $8 million

Another big winner in this week’s VC activity was web3 AI firm OpenLedger, which attracted $8 million in seed funding to build its permissionless, data-focused infrastructure for AI development.

Polychain Capital and Borderless Capital led the funding round, with contributions from Finality Capital and Hashkey Capital, among others. 

The project aims to improve AI model performance by decentralizing data pipelines, with plans to launch its infrastructure on the mainnet in the upcoming quarter., $5 million

The rather quiet week also saw, an automated blockchain value extraction system, raising $5 million in seed funding. 

Led by Blockchain Capital, the round included investments from Velocity.Capital and Notable angel investors such as Antonio Viggiano, Shujia Liang, and Grigore Rosu also participated. focuses on addressing security challenges in the web3 space, leveraging machine learning to create a pathfinder for blockchain security.

Trever, $2.6 million

Wrapping up our VC roundup is Trever, an institutional operating system provider for digital assets. The startup secured €2.4 million ($2.6 million) in seed funding.

The round was co-led by TX Ventures CH and Market One Capital LUX, with additional investments from Blockchain Founders Capital DE and Dr. Alex von Frankenberg. 

Trever’s software offers infrastructure for financial institutions to manage digital assets, catering to banks, brokers, and funds. With clients across the DACH region, Trever is looking to expand its reach throughout Europe, providing software solutions for the digital asset market.

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